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Fall Statewide Technology Showcase Draws Investors and Industry Reps to New Mexico

Innovate New Mexico, a network of leading technology-transfer organizations, held its fourth event showcasing innovative technologies from the state’s research universities and national labs.

The October 17 gathering at the Sandia Golf Club in Albuquerque featured 12 technology pitches by inventors from the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Tech, Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos National Lab, and the Air Force Research Labs to a crowd of 150 investors, entrepreneurs, industry reps, staff members from all four of the New Mexico congressional offices, and local business members.

The day’s events included welcoming remarks from Matthew Geisel, cabinet secretary of the NM Economic Development Department and keynote remarks from Louis Berneman, founding partner of Osage University Partners.  Osage invests exclusively in university and research institution technologies, and has $315 million under management with 93 member institutions.  The venture capital firm has formed three funds, invests across all stages of technology development and focuses on launching high-quality startups by identifying high-quality management teams.

The showcase also included exhibit space for 17 New Mexico startup companies and business organizations.

Presenters and exhibitors had ample networking sessions to talk with company technology scouts for possible business opportunities.

University and lab inventors pitched the following technologies to the crowd and panel of local sharks who asked market and commercialization questions and offered feedback:

  1. Optical Rubidium Atomic Frequency Standard, Kyle Martin (AFRL)
  2. Flow Cytometry: New Time-Dependent Technologies, Jessica P. Houston, PhD (NMSU)
  3. A Solution for Drug Resistant Skin Infections and Wounds, Danielle Turner, PhD and Snezna Rogelj, PhD (NM Tech)
  4. Optimized Surface Dimpling for Commercial Vehicles, Aircraft, and Energy Applications, Sal Rodriguez, PhD (Sandia Labs)
  5. Transgenic Approaches to Improving Crop Plants—Increasing Biomass and Yields, Champa Gopalan, PhD (NMSU)
  6. Crack-Tolerant Advanced Metallization for PV, Sang Han, PhD (UNM)
  7. Compact Environmental Anomaly Sensor, Lt. David Stiles (AFRL)
  8. Internet for Everyone Using Air-Buoyant Vessels, Miles Beaux, PhD (Los Alamos)
  9. High Sensitivity Bearing Tester, Brendan L. Nation (Sandia Labs)

To read the technology summaries go to the Innovate New Mexico website.

The lunch time session, moderated by Jackie Kerby Moore, executive director of the Sandia Science & Technology Park, featured a panel of New Mexico startup CEOs who discussed their experiences growing their companies in New Mexico. Panel speakers were Eric Branson, VP & CTO for Advanced Manufactured Power Solutions, LLC; Derek Doyle, chief engineer & co-founder of Defend Six Corporation; Michael Perrine, director of business development at Agilvax; and Barr Zulevi, CTO & president of Pajarito Powder.

The showcase ended with closing remarks from Jennifer Sinsabaugh, director of the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

Innovate New Mexico would like to thank event sponsors:  Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), platinum level; Air Force Research Lab, Los Alamos National Lab, MEP, gold level; Sandia National Labs, silver level; and NM Economic Development Department, bronze level.

A special thanks goes to the lunch panel of startup executives mentioned above and the following shark panelists:  Mathis Shinnick, CEO, OptiPulse; Wayne Laslie, former president and CEO and current board member, Zocere; Dorian Rader, vice president, New Mexico Angels; Charles Call, CEO, CleanSpot; Charles Mendez, CEO, Enthentica and InnoBright; and Kyle Guin, founder & CEO, Pencil-In.

To read more about the technology showcase, see Kevin Robinson-Avila’s October 17, 2017 article, “Innovate NM flaunts cutting-edge technology,” from the Albuquerque Journal, reprinted below.

Innovate NM flaunts cutting-edge technology

By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Journal Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 at 3:25pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s national labs and research universities pitched a dozen new technologies to investors and entrepreneurs at the state’s fourth Innovate New Mexico showcase on Tuesday.

The event at Sandia Casino’s Golf Club unites scientists, engineers and technology transfer professionals to build interest among potential funders and corporate partners to take emerging lab and university innovation to market.

The initiative, begun in spring 2016 as a twice-annual event, attracted about 150 participants this time, including angel investors, venture capitalists, and corporate technology scouts from the U.S. and other countries.

Presenters unveiled a broad range of cutting-edge advances, such as:

  • a topical cream that kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria in skin infections, developed by New Mexico Tech in Socorro.
  • a novel genetic engineering technique to improve alfalfa crop growth and yields from New Mexico State University.
  • Sandia National Laboratories process to add indentations on the surfaces of vehicles, ships and aircraft to reduce friction from turbulence and increase fuel efficiency.
  • a method to make solar cells on spacecraft more robust to prolong operation in harsh space conditions, developed by the University of New Mexico and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Investors said they were impressed by the scope and potential impact of technologies on display, and by the ability of all six New Mexico labs and research universities to work together to promote innovation.

“The raw talent and innovation that exists here is impressive,” said McLain Southworth of San Francisco-based Crosslink Capital. “The way they’ve organized everything together in one event is about the most effective process I’ve seen in these types of lab and university presentations. It’s a winning strategy that could help New Mexico become the next big tech hub.”

Louis Berneman, founding partner of Philadelphia-based venture firm Osage University Partners, said attracting venture investment is extremely difficult given the intense competition among startups nationally.

“We look for transformative, paradigm-shifting technologies,” Berneman told conference participants. “…We’re impressed with what we’ve seen here. Albuquerque and New Mexico have real opportunities coming out of the research institutions.”

One technology, the process for making solar cells on spacecraft more robust, already attracted an initial investment from the New Mexico Angels, which recently formed a new startup to take it to market. That company, Ozasda Energy LLC, emerged from stealth mode for the first time at the conference.

Source: https://www.abqjournal.com/1079222/innovate-nm-flaunts-cutting-edge-technology.html